Effectiveness of vaccine wanes with time, officials say
From: Cape Gazette
About a third of Gov. John Carney’s weekly press conference Feb. 1 was spent on stressing the need for booster shots.
Dr. Karyl Rattay, Division of Public Health director, said the vaccine’s effectiveness drops after five months, but getting a booster will extend its potency.
“It improves the immune response beyond original levels,” she said.
Using a three-week period during which Omicron has been the dominant variant, Rattay said booster shots reduced the need for an emergency department visit or hospitalization by 94 percent, and boosters reduced the need for an urgent care visit by 82 percent.
“People who are unvaccinated, partially vaccinated or fully vaccinated are just not as protected as those who have received a booster,” Rattay said.
A survey released by the Kaiser Family Foundation in December showed that a larger number of Hispanic and Black individuals were concerned with getting seriously sick from the Omicron variant, but 3 out of 10 members of those populations were also unaware of booster recommendations or they misunderstand the effectiveness of boosters against the variant.
“All Delawareans 12 and older are eligible for a booster if it has been a certain amount of time since their primary series,” Rattay said.
As of Jan. 31, there were 400 COVID hospitalizations, with 39 people in critical condition. The weekly average of positive tests was about 17%.